To Trump’s sons: Bring your animal trophies into New Jersey and we will lock you up

Baby elephant and mom in Africa (Bob Ingle photo)
Baby elephant and mom in Africa (Bob Ingle photo)

New Jersey state Sen. Ray Lesniak told an Elephant Day gathering that his state has done what they said was impossible.

“We – You and I and us – have the power to save animals from extinction and cruelty.

We have the power to end poaching, stop terrorists from profiting from it, and save elephants and rhinos from extinction – And We Will.

We have the power to end trophy hunting and save lions and tigers from extinction – And We Will.

We have the power to end shark finning and save sharks from extinction – And We Will.

We have the power to end puppy mills and save dogs and cats from suffering – And We Will.

We have the power to end the killing of black bears – And We Will.

We have the power to end the use of leg hold traps – And We Will.”

He also took a swipe at N.J. Gov. Chris Christie who vetoed legislation banning gestation crates for hogs. They keep pregnant hogs in a tight confinement. Christie said the legislation wasn’t needed but his critics said it was about appeasing Iowa farmers when he was running for the Republican nomination for president.

Ray Lesniak
Ray Lesniak

“As soon as we get a new governor, and we will, we will have the power to end the use of gestation crates – And We Will.”

Lesniak, a Democrat, has been a leader in anti-poaching and the killing of trophy animals, also had a message for Donald and Eric Trump, who have been photographed posing with trophy animals killed in Africa. In one, Donald Jr. held a tail that had been chopped off an elephant.

“This is the message we are sending across America and throughout the world – We have the power to protect animals from extinction and cruelty – And We Will. This is the message New Jersey has sent to the Trump brothers and other trophy hunters – If you bring your trophies into New Jersey, we will lock you up.

This is the message New Jersey has sent to elephant and rhino horn poachers and to the terrorists who profit from it – Your tusks and rhino horns have no value in New Jersey – and we’re here today to prove it.”

Speaking in Jersey City, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, Lesniak reminded the audience, “They said a total ivory sales ban couldn’t be done – And New Jersey Did It!”

The speech was part of the New Jersey Ivory Crush that destroyed ivory objects and recognized what the Garden State has done to protect endangered species. More than 35,000 wild elephants are killed annually for their ivory and and part of the money from illicit poaching and trafficking goes to fund terrorist groups. New Jersey has the strongest and most comprehensive intrastate ban on ivory sales in the United States.

 Jen Samuel, president of her all-volunteer, non-profit Elephants DC, said, “New jersey is going to once again shine a light on wildlife crime.”

 

“I’m proud of New Jersey enlightening the rest of our country and the world to the threats to survival of elephants and rhinos and of our ban on ivory transactions and on imports of ‘trophies’ of endangered species,” Lesniak said. “New Jersey is truly The Humane State.”

African elephant (Bob Ingle photo)
African elephant (Bob Ingle photo)

Background: In 2014, New Jersey became the first state in the U.S. to pass a comprehensive ban on the commercial domestic sale of ivory and rhino horn. Later,  President Obama’s administration recently enacted a “near total” ivory and rhino horn import and export sales and interstate commerce ban and credited New Jersey and state-by-state efforts for driving these changes to federal rules. Many airlines have banned trophy animals from their cargo holds.

“To end wildlife poaching and trafficking and prevent the imminent extinction of elephants and other threatened species, we must eliminate markets and profits for traffickers,” said N.J. state Assemblyman Mukerji, also a leader in anti-poaching legislation. “That’s why we need a complete, nationwide ban on ivory commerce.”

 Brian Hackett, New Jersey state director of the Humane Society of the United States, said: “This month marks the second anniversary of New Jersey’s historic ivory ban. There is no better way to celebrate this milestone than an ivory crush, a symbol of New Jersey’s continued commitment to crush the pernicious, elephant-decimating ivory trade.”

 

The John Lewis battle you probably don’t know

ATLANTA — Here is a town of beautiful, green, historic communities, traditionally competitive for who has the best parks or bars or restaurants or life style or most trees. I never saw them work toward a common goal until the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) decided a massive highway system through the area was the future.…Continue Reading

World Lion Day

August 10 is World Lion Day and a good time to take some time out and think about these magnificent cats. They come in all sizes and shapes and while they’re usually a yellowish-brown (tawny) there are also some rare white ones — not albinos — in the Timbavati area of South Africa. They were…Continue Reading

Conventions 2016: A tale of two cities

And so the conventions are finished for another four years. In my time covering them I never saw such a contrast. Cleveland, a town of warm, friendly people, is so small they brought in law enforcement from as far away as California and Dallas. Philadelphia reinforced the Secret Service and Homeland Security with Pennsylvania State…Continue Reading

What gives New Jersey that ‘culture of corruption’?

What is it about New Jersey that causes people with accomplishments to take a turn toward the dark side? The water? The air? When people asked Sandy McClure and me on book tour for “The Soprano State” we told them, “That’s why we subtitled it ‘New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption.’” There is something different about the culture…Continue Reading

Group sues to overturn N.J. law banning import of exotic trophy animals

A group that includes hunters and taxidermists has filed suit challenging New Jersey’s law barring remains of lions and other exotic animals from being imported into the state. The state laws, according to the suit, were intended “to make licensed, regulated hunting of Big Four game more difficult and less attractive to New Jersey residents by…Continue Reading

Here’s one for Cecil the lion and discouraging the sick trophy hunter trade; Obama bans ivory

Those who get their kicks killing endangered animals had better stay out of New Jersey. New Jersey has become the second U.S. state to ban the importing, selling and owning of “trophy animals.” Washington is the other state. Animals in the ban signed  by Gov. Chris Christie include elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs and rhinos, among…Continue Reading